The Netflix Player by Roku, which enables owners to watch streaming Web video on their TV sets, has received plenty of applause from pundits and owners since debuting last May. But the box now faces its first major challenge.
Customers from around the country have been "experiencing inexplicable loss of video-streaming quality," for at least three weeks according to Roku's engineers, who have posted comments at the company's Web forums. Device owners have posted complaints to the same forums about receiving less than half of the video quality they've had in the past. One user told CNET that the video stream is now "unwatchable."
Tim Twerdahl, vice president of consumer products at Roku, told CNET News on Monday that the company is still unsure about what exactly triggered the problem, but he said indications are it originated at Netflix. Twerdahl added that the problem likely affects Netflix's other boxes as well as Roku's player.
"All we know is Roku didn't make any changes," Twerdahl said. "This is not a box problem. We know from some reports that this seems to be correlated with a change in Netflix's content distribution network (CDN), and Netflix is trying to figure out what the issue is." … Read more